Phoenix @ Perlman Music Program

When I was a year and a half old, my parents took me to a children's concert in Santa Fe where they had small instruments for the kids to try out before the performance.  I chose a violin, a really really small one, and held it upside down against my chest,  pulling the miniture bow across the strings while I slowly swayed myself into bliss.  When it was time to relinquish the baby violin and gather for the concert, I asked, "what is this called?" Not being able to quite pronounce this new word, I exclaimed emphatically, "I wuv the wiowin!"  From that day on, I carried a toy 'wiowin' with me everywhere, until finally, at the age of 3, I was able to begin my lessons.  
I still carry my 'wiowin' with me everywhere. It's bigger now, as am I.

Hello, my name is Phoenix Avalon.  I am 16 years old and am currently studying violin at the Cleveland Institute of Music Young Artist Program with Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman.  I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was recently accepted into the Perlman Music Program (PMP) to study with Itzhak Perlman, beginning June 2017.  PMP is an international summer music camp in Long Island, NY, which has an enrollment of about thirty students.  Once you are accepted into the program, you may remain in the program until you are 18, making it one of the most competitive music programs to be accepted into, with students from all over the world competing for the few open slots each year. 

At PMP I will receive three private lessons each week, one of the weekly lessons being with Mr. Perlman himself, as well as chamber music, orchestra, and choir.  Going to PMP will greatly advance my musical education and expose me to the teachers and students of prestigious schools like Juilliard and Curtis.  

Even though I received a good scholarship from PMP, I still owe $3250 towards tuition, plus $500 for travel. I am hoping to raise $3750 by June 2017 with this campaign

I have always wanted to be a professional violinist and I will be applying to music conservatories next year on my way to realizing my ambitions.  It has always been important to me to bring classical music to future generations.  As such, I am interested in having a performing career, where I can present the great composers to the next generation.  I am particularly interested in learning and preserving the styles and artistry of the 'old greats' such as David Oistrakh, Nathan Milstein,  Jascha Heifetz, and of course Itzhak Perlman, Jan Mark Sloman, and Jaime Laredo, the last two I currently have the pleasure and honor of studying with at CIM.

It's always been a goal of mine to attend PMP as a part of my music education, and hopefully, with your help, I will have an incredible and productive summer.  Every donation will help no matter how small, and I am very grateful to all those who donate. 

As a ‘thank you’, I am happy to share my recordings with you.  There is a short video of the Debussey La Plus Que Lente at the end of this letter.  In addition, here are links to some of my more recent performances: 

Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor

Performance Today Interviews and Performances:

Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,
Variations on the Last Rose of Summer

Zigeunerweisen Pablo Sarasate

More About PMP:
"Founded by Toby Perlman in 1994, The Perlman Music Program (PMP) offers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. With a world-class faculty led by Itzhak Perlman and a signature summer program on Shelter Island, PMP is developing the future leaders of classical music within a nurturing and supportive community.”
For more info, please visit:

More About Phoenix:
Phoenix Avalon, 16, is passionate about his study of the violin. He is honored to be studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music Young Artist Program with Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman. He was a student of Carmelo de los Santos at the University of New Mexico for 6 years and began his violin training at Santa Fe Talent Education at the age of 3. Phoenix plays with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and is coached in chamber music by the Cavani Quartet.

Phoenix’s solo performances include the national radio shows Performance Today (2016) and From the Top (as soloist in 2015 and in ensemble with the CIM’s Cecelia Octet in 2016). He soloed with the New Mexico Philharmonic (2016, 2015), the Boulder Symphony (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013), Performance Santa Fe (2014) and at Meadowmount School of Music public concerts (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). He made 2 debuts this winter, with the Arapahoe Philharmonic playing the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, and with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, playing Sarasote’s Zigeunerweisen at Severence Hall in Cleveland.

For the 2017/18 season, Phoenix will be performing the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major with the Boulder Symphony, as well as performing with the Taos Chamber Music Group in New Mexico.

Phoenix is a 5-time recipient of the Performance Santa Fe Davis Award, a 5 year recipient of Starling Foundation grants for study at the Meadowmount School of Music, as well as being awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.  This year he was the winner of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra’s Jean L. Petitt Memorial Scholarship Competition. Phoenix was the strings winner of the 2015 Jackie McGehee Young Artist Competition, received second place in the Music Teachers National Association National Competition in Junior Performance and Honorable Mention in the Lynn Harrell Competition.

Phoenix has played in master classes for Peter Salaff, James Ehnes, Kikuei Ikeda, Jinjoo Cho, Joseph Silverstein, Chad Hoopes, Kathryn Lucktenberg, Daniel Han, Kimberly Fischer, Richard Rood, Martha Caplin and for the Apple Hill, Szymanowski, Atrium, Brentano, Harrison, Jasper and Cavani String Quartets. 

Having grown up in Santa Fe, NM, Phoenix was honored to mentor the St. Michael's High School Orchestra, in addition to playing for numerous fundraisers.  In 2015 Phoenix participated in the From the Top Leadership Training where he developed an interactive presentation of classical music history, which he has offered for numerous schools. He has also played for various outreach programs throughout the country, including with CIM’s Young Artist Program.

Phoenix is particularly grateful to be playing on a Giuseppe Guadagnini violin, c. 1786, generously loaned by Kenneth Warren and Son Ltd. of Chicago.

In addition to violin, Phoenix enjoys philosophy, history and French cooking.

Thank you for your help!

  • Vicki Barcus 
    • $35 
    • 61 mos
  • Jenny Quick 
    • $15 
    • 61 mos
  • Carmelo de los Santos 
    • $10 
    • 62 mos
  • Sakiko Ishitsubo 
    • $50 
    • 62 mos
  • Irène Schlumberger 
    • $25 
    • 62 mos
See all


Phoenix Avalon 
Cleveland, OH